A Complete Meal in 15 Minutes – From Start to Finish

It’s a complete meal, and I made it in 15 minutes from start to finish. Look how beautiful:

sliced-ham3

First let’s talk about pork for a little bit.

I like feeding my family hormone-free meat, antibiotic-free meat, grass fed meat, free range meat, all the happy, healthy kinds of meat.

But sometimes I compromise.

I have great local sources for chicken, lamb, and beef. But I almost always buy my piggies at the store. We don’t have pork very often, but shucks, pork is so delicious. We love bacon, ham, and sausage. My boys are athletes and often ask for meat in the morning (and all day long). I’ve decided that in order to keep life simpler (and to avoid completely killing my already very high grocery budget) – I’ll go ahead and buy pork products when I find them on sale at a regular grocery store.

I don’t feel great about this, but I guess I feel good enough about it that I haven’t stopped doing it. So that’s that.

sliced-ham2

So now let’s get on with the fun part where I tell you how you can put a complete meal on the table in 15-minutes from start to finish!

A Complete Meal in 15 Minutes

Sometimes I buy a pre-cooked ham as pictured above. I slice it all and put it in a Pyrex dish in the fridge to pull out as needed for quick lunches or to go with eggs at breakfast.

Having this on hand is fantastic! This sliced ham fries up within a few minutes in a skillet. We’ll steam some peas and pull out the mixed greens and salad dressing. We’ll prep some fruit. Just like that, we’ve got a complete meal ready to eat.

complete-meal-in-15-minutes

If you don’t feel good about eating pork, there are Turkey Ham options available – or maybe you’d enjoy another variety of meat that fries up quickly to complete your meal.

Either way: Never forget the ease of steaming a veggie, prepping some fruit, and pulling out fresh greens to complete a meal. This is THE way I make our meals simple and nourishing. The variety of fruits and vegetables is so good for our bodies and feeding us like this takes only a tiny bit of effort!

Are you pork eaters at your house? What meals have you found to be easy enough to throw together in just a few minutes?

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A Year of Simple Breakfasts

In case the title made you think I have 365 Simple Breakfast ideas to share with you, I have to apologize and let you know that while I do have many simple breakfast recipes, I do not have one for every day of the year. (After all, we do eat eggs pretty regularly at our house.) Rather, this post will share how I’m planning to keep our breakfasts as simple as possible this year! I bet the ideas shared here WILL get you through an entire year, with plenty of variety, and all kinds of simplicity!

Take, for example, the breakfast shown in this picture.

a-year-of-simple-breakfasts

One morning last week, I made and served Giant Breakfast Cookies, Bacon, and Strawberry Parfaits. Sounds involved right? Not at all simple! Complicated and time consuming, even!

But it wasn’t! It was so simple! Here’s how I did it:

  1. I had pre-made Breakfast Cookie dough balls in the freezer. (Read the details on how to do that here.) I simply pulled some out, put them on a baking sheet, and slid them into the oven to bake while I continued my morning Bible reading time.
  2. I had pre-made Bacon. (Read the details on how to do that here.) Just after I woke the boys, I threw some bacon in a skillet to reheat and crisp up. It took 30 seconds, no joke.
  3. I had already made the Cream Cheese Parfait filling for another meal a few days before. I pulled out what was left, washed and sliced some berries, and put them on the table.

The boys LOVED this breakfast (who wouldn’t?) and I loved having such a great meal to serve. What I loved more than anything is how simple it was to put on the table.

But what about taking all that time to prepare simple breakfasts ahead of time?

Sounds like the before-hand prep can negate the “simple” in all of this, huh? Sure, it’s easy to put it on the table if you’ve done all the work ahead of time – but who has time to do all that work ahead of time?

I get it. I don’t always have the time to get ahead either. But I’ve found that if take an hour or two in the kitchen sometime during the week – whenever I can find the spare hour or two – I can knock out quite a bit of cooking which saves me all kinds of time and energy later.

And…while I could fall back on boxed breakfast food if I really wanted to keep it simple, I don’t like doing that unless I’m desperate or especially over-scheduled. We love homemade food. We love a hot breakfast. There really are great ways to keep it simple!

How to Cook Bacon in the Oven, Freeze, and Warm Up Fast

oven-bacon-2

When to find a spare hour or two for cooking ahead?

It varies, and will be different for all of us depending on our work and family situation. Here are some time slots that sometimes (but not always) work for me:

  • In the morning after breakfast after I’ve gotten my kids going on their school work. This only works on mornings I don’t have any pressing blog work needs or deadlines. And it only works if my youngest is sitting at the kitchen table doing his work so I can bounce back and forth between cooking and helping to keep him on task.
  • In the late afternoon or early evening while I’m cooking dinner. After all, I’m in the kitchen then anyway. If the dinner meal is simple enough (and at this point, all my meals are kept simple) – I can sometimes stir up something for the freezer or put something into the oven to help me get ahead for another day.
  • Anytime I’m cooking something for today, I consider if I can double or triple up so I can have extra for another time. I do this with almost everything.

These “cooking ahead” methods work for any meal, but here are some specific breakfast ideas for getting ahead that help keep our morning meal times super simple!

1. Cook several pounds of Bacon Bits ahead of time.

I freeze these to pull out as needed. For a simple breakfast, pull out a scoop to quickly make Scrambled Bacon Cheesy Eggs.

How to Make Bacon Bits and Why You Should Make Them

2. Make 5-Minute Stove-Top Granola. 

Store it in a jar. Save it for a morning you have no time to cook. Serve it with a variety of your family’s favorite stir-in options.

5-Minute Stove-Top Granola

3. Make Dark Chocolate Almond Granola.

Use the 5-minute stove-top method if you like! This is our favorite granola and making it at home saves quite a bit of money compared to buying it at the store.

Dark Chocolate Almond Granola - A Great Make-Ahead Meal

4. Make Homemade Grape Nut Cereal.

This is super tasty and super easy! I typically double this recipe and keep it in big jars so we can have it on busy “no time to cook” mornings.

Homemade Grape Nuts

5. Make Homemade Cracklin’ Oat Bran.

This is our favorite of the homemade cereal options! It’s also super easy to make and stores great in jars in the pantry.

Make Your Own Cracklin' Oat Bran

Wait! Do I ever buy cereal at the store and serve cereal out of a box?!?

Of course. Remember this post? Just because I can, doesn’t mean I always do. Store bought cereal saves my neck some days. No guilt. ;) Now back to the Simple Homemade Breakfast ideas…

6. Make Breakfast Cookie Balls for the freezer.

As mentioned above, these are awesome to have in the freezer. I usually double the recipe, and freeze the dough in balls so I can pull out just enough for one meal. These can be frozen after you bake them too, but we like eating them fresh out of the oven!

Here’s our White Chocolate Cranberry Breakfast Cookie recipe too. :)

Breakfast Cookies for the Freezer

7. Make Homemade Poptarts for the Freezer.

Like the Breakfast Cookies, we like eating these right out of the oven. Again, I usually double the recipe, then freeze them and pull out just enough for one meal. They bake easily from their frozen state. I can throw them in the oven while I’m reading my Bible in the morning. So simple!

homemade-poptarts-for-the-freezer

8. Make muffins ahead of time and freeze them before baking.

This idea is my favorite. I often mix up several different batches of our favorite muffins, freeze the batter, then quickly bake them as needed!

silicone muffins 1

9. Make Stir-and-Pour Bread.

If I have this bread on hand (usually I make it the day before instead of the morning of) – we can make Peanut Butter Honey Toast or Scrambled Egg Sandwiches.

stir and pour bread loaf 5

10. Have cheese shredded to make it easy to make Scrambled Cheesy Eggs.

We love melted cheese on our eggs. If I have some shredded already, this makes breakfast so much simpler!

TIP: We use our Food Processor to shred cheese. I LOVE THIS!!! We can shred a huge 5-pound block of cheese in about two minutes. It’s worth owning a food processor just for the cheese shredding capability! (We have one like this.)

grated cheese

11. Make any of these 49 Breakfast Freezer Food ideas.

Frozen breakfasts are awesome to have on hand for simple meals!

49 Breakfast Freezer Foods

12. Make big batches of Turkey Sausage

I almost always make 12 pounds at once (the entire case of ground turkey I get in my Azure Standard order!). I bag it up in 1-pound bags. Since it’s precooked and crumbled, I can throw it in scrambled eggs or make a quick batch of Sausage Gravy.

Homemade Turkey Sausage

 

I would love to hear your ideas for Simple Breakfasts at your house!

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Last Day for Simple Meals Discount!

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Remember, Monday, January 16 is the last day you can get $12 off your Simple Meals subscription! Get all the details about Simple Meals here. You’ll LOVE all that is included!

Simple Meals will save you so much time and energy, giving you more time to enjoy your family!

Use the code SIMPLEYEAR12 to get $12 – through Monday night only!

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Your yearly subscription equips you with a 52 week's worth of meal plans, grocery guide, recipes, and bonus tips, plus you get over $60 worth of bonus eBooks! Your Simple Meals plan will arrive in your inbox each Thursday morning.
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Limited Time Simple Meals $12 Discount!

As we kick off the Year of Simple, I really want to encourage everyone to join our Simple Meals program!

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Why should you join Simple Meals?

  • So you’ll have more down time to spend enjoying your family! <—- That’s the number one reason. :)
  • All the meals are simple (of course), delicious, and family friendly.
  • You’ll save much time and energy!!
  • Meal planning is done for you.
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  • Every week you get current bonus money-saving tips.
  • Subscribers get oodles of freebies!
  • You can earn money when you refer your friends!

Read all about Simple Meals here.

We know you’ll love it!

Big news this week!

Through Monday, January 16 you can get $12 off your Simple Meals subscription! That is a huge discount along with the $56 worth of freebies you get when you purchase. With this discount, you can enjoy Simple Meals for just pennies per week!

Use the code SIMPLEYEAR12 to take $12 off your Simple Meals subscription. Can’t wait to have you on board!

Simple Meals
Your yearly subscription equips you with a 52 week's worth of meal plans, grocery guide, recipes, and bonus tips, plus you get over $60 worth of bonus eBooks! Your Simple Meals plan will arrive in your inbox each Thursday morning.
Price: $52.00

Simple Overnight Saucy Crock Pot Chicken (Lunch is ready when you get up for the day!)

This Simple Overnight Saucy Crock Pot Chicken idea might be one of my favorite Simple Tips/Recipes of the new year!

It takes five minutes of “work” to make this before you go to bed at night. It’s brainless. It involves no measuring or dirtying of dishes. You can practically sleep walk your way around this (which is precisely how I do everything after 10:00 pm). Best of all: No chickens have to be thawed in the making of this recipe.

bbq-chicken2

How this recipe/idea came about…

It was a cold, windy, dark Friday night (adjectives added for dramatic effect). It had been a long, exhausting, busy week (and this is different from other weeks, how?). Saturday, we had a full day of basketball games scheduled in a town two hours away. We needed to pack breakfast to eat on the way and lunch to eat between games. Friday night we were finally getting around to figuring out food for the road the next day.

I eagerly decided to get creative! (In other words, I didn’t have bread or lunch meat in the house and I didn’t want to go to the store.)

We have learned that big, meaty chef salads between basketball games are great for our boys who need to eat something substantial and full of protein, but not terribly heavy.

I decided we could certainly do Chicken Chef Salads to eat between games – if only I had thought ahead enough to cook some chicken for these salads. Frozen, raw chicken just isn’t the same. But then I thought, “what if?” The best ideas are born when you think to yourself, “what if?”

So I dumped some frozen, raw, boneless chicken thighs into the crock pot, dumped on some BBQ sauce, plugged in the crock pot (always, always plug it in), turned it on (also important), and went to bed.

The next morning the house smelled marvelous. After all, I had been slow-cooking BBQ Chicken all night – like a boss – while I slept.

The end of this story was supposed to include the fact that we quickly shredded the chicken in the morning and made ourselves some wonderful chef salads before heading out the door for the day. But as it turned out, the weather was terrible, the games were canceled, and the boys got so excited about the chicken when they got out of bed that they ate it for breakfast.

Who am I to say no? I wanted some too.

simple-saucy-overnight-crock-pot-chicken

Simple Overnight Saucy Crock Pot Chicken

Simple Overnight Saucy Crock Pot Chicken
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1-3 pounds frozen, boneless chicken thighs or breasts
  • 1-2 cups of your favorite sauce (bbq, teriyaki, sweet and sour, etc)
Instructions
  1. Place frozen chicken in a crock pot.
  2. Pour sauce over the chicken.
  3. Cook on low for 7-10 hours overnight.

This is hardly a recipe. This is a “use your favorite sauce” and “pour it on whatever chicken you have in your freezer” idea. It’s the simplest thing to do and you can use your deliciously cooked meat in whatever way you need it the following day. Pack it in a lunch to take to work. Make it into a salad. Save it for lunch to eat at home after a busy morning of living life. Pack it to take to away games to eat while sitting in the bleachers. Or most definitely:

Go ahead and eat it for breakfast. Sometimes this can’t be helped.

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Other Simple Recipes I’ve Shared Recently:

It’s recipes like this that makes Simple Meals such a life saver for families. We’ll provide the plans. We’ll provide the recipes. We’ll provide the grocery list. All you have to do is take a deep breath and enjoy how simple your life in the kitchen has become! Join Simple Meals!

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Simple Parmesan Broiled Fish (10-minutes from start to finish!)

I was going to call this Simple Cheesy Fish Dish – you know – because it rhymed and was cute. But then I was like, “What a weird and not-very-appetizing name. Let’s change it to Simple Parmesan Broiled Fish. People will want to make it if it has a better name.”

broiled-parmesan-fish

I sure hope you all appreciate all the thought and trouble I go to in preparing these recipes and laboring to come up with their names. There is no end to all the decisions I have to make around here.

But in actual news, and what you really need to know about this recipe is how easy it is. You broil the fish. While it is broiling, you mix up a few ingredients to spread over the top. You spread it on. You broil it all a little longer. In ten minutes the fish is completely done and ready to serve.

Ten minutes. Maybe I should have called this Ten-Minute Fish Dish. But seriously, though.

Simple Parmesan Broiled FishYum

5.0 from 1 reviews
Simple Parmesan Broiled Fish
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds fish, any kind (cod, tilapia, halibut, flounder, salmon)
  • ¾ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • ⅓ cup melted butter
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise (I use Hain Safflower mayo)
  • 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 Tablespoons dried minced onion
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Splash of hot sauce (we like Cholula)
Instructions
  1. Lay fish pieces in a buttered 9x13 inch baking dish.
  2. Broil for 8-10 minutes in the oven.
  3. In the meantime, mix the remaining ingredients in a bowl.
  4. Removed broiled fish from the oven and spread on the cheese mixture.
  5. Broil for an additional 2 minutes.

simple-parmesan-broiled-fish

This fish has incredible flavor! We have also found that the sauce tastes great with the steamed veggies we eat with this meal. There’s just something about cheese and butter and mayo all together that makes a great sauce. So if the sauce from your fish runs over your plate into your veggies – be grateful. The entire meal will taste better this way!

Other Simple Recipes I’ve Shared Recently:

It’s recipes like this that makes Simple Meals such a life saver for families. We’ll provide the plans. We’ll provide the recipes. We’ll provide the grocery list. All you have to do is take a deep breath and enjoy how simple your life in the kitchen has become! Join Simple Meals!

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Want to Join Me for “A Year of Simple”?

I have no idea how my kids are getting so old when clearly, I am staying so young. (That sentence was obviously not written with a straight face, but with one beginning to show several laugh lines.)

Over the Christmas holiday, we were so blessed to spend a day with some of our former college friends. As if no time had passed since 1991, we laughed and shared memories and acted like we were twenty again. Then we looked across the room at all of our kids, and wondered how it came to be that we actually have a kid going to the same college we had gone to together just a few short years ago??

Y’all. I have an adult child. My other kids will also be adults the day after tomorrow. This is not new information. But sometimes the realization knocks me over the head. How did I get here? How did this happen?

coppinger-time-lapse

It is this realization – knowing that time flies and the years are short – that lands me in a place of wanting to get rid of everything that is not essential. If it’s not nailed down, out it goes. If it’s overwhelming, I’m off-loading. God has been calling me to simplify as never before.

why-im-choosing-a-year-of-simple

I’ve been making lists of what I feel is priority. It is surprisingly short.

  1. Love God
  2. Love my husband
  3. Love my kids
  4. Love myself
  5. Love my neighbor

While this sounds simple in and of itself, you and I both know how much all of that involves. There are so many essentials involved with loving all the people, and we all know the food doesn’t cook itself. My days are filled with:

  • Feeding my family well
  • Teaching and training our boys
  • Taking part in our boys’ outside activities
  • Caring for several people in our community and in our church family
  • Managing my home
  • Maintaining this website
  • Dozens of other tasks
  • Take a day of rest each week

It is these priorities along with these essentials that leave me a bit in a quandary. While the lists are short, they are very involved. How to juggle? How to manage? How to remain in a state of peace and joy while keeping top priorities and managing the essentials? God gave us 24 hours each day on purpose. But even while cutting out much during the past few years and saying no more than saying yes, I’m still overwhelmed much of the time. My conclusion is that there is no way to do life perfectly and also…

I must simplify as much as possible

My family and my ministries require much of my energy – much more, even, than when my kids were little. Saying “no” to all the good things that pull at me but aren’t God’s best for me is my only solution to receiving peace, especially as I have come to realize that God has not called me to do all and be all. All He asks of me is to seek Him. This is the only way His answers for my daily life become clear.

Thus, I am excited to explore the next few months of The Year of Simple. 

Join me?

Simple doesn’t give way to laziness. Simple means we’ll work smarter, not harder. Simple means we’ll seek to go about our days with God’s best in mind, cutting out all that hinders and everything that keeps us from looking up to Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-2). This will look different for each of us.

What I’m planning for a Year of Simple at Heavenly Homemakers is…

To encourage all of us care for our families in the simplest ways possible so we can keep our top priorities at the top. This will include:

  • More Simple Recipes – We’ve still gotta eat. We still want healthy meals. But let’s learn more about keeping it simple. (Simple Meals is one of the best ways to simplify our kitchen lives, hands down! Everyone should take part in this!)
  • Simple Kitchen and Homemaking Tips – I’ll continue to share ways of managing our homes by working smarter, not harder.
  • Simple Truths – God continues to reveal His perfect and simple Truth as I study and meditate on His Word. Lies fade as Truth overpowers. As God directs, I’ll share what I’m learning.
  • Simple Fun – But of course.

I don’t think it matters what season of life you are in. Whether you have no children, baby children, growing children, teenage children, adult children, a spouse, no spouse – no matter who you are and what your current time of life holds for you – we can all get so wrapped up in being so busy with all the busyness that we forget to take part in what is most important.

What if we all learn together how to let go of the non-essentials, to ask for help when we need it, and to walk in peace as we trust that God will provide everything we need?

Each time I think about how God can help me simplify, I feel great joy. I take in a deep breath. I see the lovely that is around me. Often the lovely is covered in a layer of dust and smells like sweaty socks. Lovely doesn’t mean perfect. Lovely means fully being in the moment to recognize that God’s mercies are new every morning and that He is at work in all things.

I look forward to spending 2017 with you. Join me in this Year of Simple!

What’s at least one way you seek to simplify your life this year?

Simple Hamburger Soup

My mom used to make something like this Simple Hamburger Soup every Wednesday night before church. She called it “Beef Garden Casserole” and usually baked biscuits on top and on the side. I remember coming home from sports practices, starving, and so excited to eat this meal along with several biscuits dripping with butter.

beef-garden-soup

Ah, the memories.

I’ve been making this for my own family during the last 22 years, and even though it started out as a simple recipe, I’ve simplified it even more. I now skip the biscuits altogether. I often make it ahead of time so all I have to do is rewarm it and serve.

But then there’s the fact that some people in my family don’t like corn. Of all things not to like, right? So I usually make corn on the side for people to stir in if they like.

Also? I don’t make this as a casserole. It goes into bowls like soup, then we top it with shredded cheese. It’s still one of my favorite meals, and it always reminds me of my mom. You’ll love how easy this is!

Simple Hamburger SoupYum

Simple Hamburger Soup
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1 pound hamburger
  • 3 Tablespoons minced onion
  • 2-3 cups frozen green beans
  • 2-3 cups frozen corn (optional)
  • 32-ounces tomato soup
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 1 cup shredded Colby jack or cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Brown hamburger and minced onion until meat is no longer pink.
  2. Meanwhile, steam green beans in a separate pot until they are tender.
  3. Stir together cooked meat mixture, green beans, corn, and tomato soup.
  4. Simmer until bubbly, salting liberally.
  5. Serve in bowls with shredded cheese if desired.

simple-hamburger-soup

Other Simple Recipes I’ve Shared Recently:

It’s recipes like this that makes Simple Meals such a life saver for families. We’ll provide the plans. We’ll provide the recipes. We’ll provide the grocery list. All you have to do is take a deep breath and enjoy how simple your life in the kitchen has become! Join Simple Meals!

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Last Minute Creamy Bacon Spaghetti

Well, hi! Did you have a nice Christmas?

I’m assuming you’d like to stay in “vacation mode” for just a few more days. Perhaps you’re planning to hit the stores and grab some 75% off sales. (Get me some wrapping paper and multi-colored tree lights while you’re there, will you?)

Today I’ve got a fun new Simple Meal to share with you. This one is a bit different from those I’ve shared recently. You’ll be happy to learn that it includes bacon. And cream cheese. It’s like I’m giving you a late Christmas present. Best of all, this meal can be thrown together at the last minute with no prior planning!

Here’s how this Creamy Bacon Spaghetti can be considered a “last minute meal” even if you didn’t thaw bacon in preparation: Bacon will thaw quickly when placed in a pan of hot water. In just a few minutes, you can cook it and stir it into your pasta.

Easy, peasy, bacon, cheesy.

bacon-spaghetti

Here’s another great bacon tip for you: Cut it into pieces with kitchen shears, like this…

bacon bits 1

While your bacon pieces are cooking, you can boil your spaghetti. When both are finished, you stir them together with cream cheese, Italian dressing, and parmesan. A couple minutes later, your meal is served.

Last Minute Creamy Bacon SpaghettiYum

5.0 from 2 reviews
Last Minute Creamy Bacon Spaghetti
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 16 ounces whole grain spaghetti
  • 1 pound uncooked bacon, but into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 ounces softened cream cheese, cut into cubes
  • ½ cup Italian dressing*
  • 4 Tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Cook spaghetti according to package directions.
  2. In the meantime, cook bacon in a skillet.
  3. Drain grease from bacon.
  4. Drain water from spaghetti.
  5. Immediately pour hot spaghetti into the skillet with cooked bacon.
  6. Add remaining ingredients, stirring until cream cheese is melted and dish is well combined.
  7. Serve right away.

*Here’s my Italian Dressing recipe if you like!

simple-last-minute-creamy-bacon-spaghetti

Other Simple Recipes I’ve Shared Recently:

It’s recipes like this that makes Simple Meals such a life saver for families. We’ll provide the plans. We’ll provide the recipes. We’ll provide the grocery list. All you have to do is take a deep breath and enjoy how simple your life in the kitchen has become! Join Simple Meals!

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Lilla Rose is having a Purple Monday After-Christmas Sale!

50% Off Holiday-Themed Limited-Release Styles

10-15% off Everything Else
Plus Free Shipping for orders over $40!
    *must select free shipping at checkout

Sale starts at 10:00 AM EST on Monday, December 26th, and ends Tuesday, December 27 at 3:00 PM EST.

Check it out here!

lilla-rose-purple-monday-sale

Simple 5-Minute Italian Chicken Bake

I am so thankful for how this Simple Italian Chicken Bake practically makes itself and feeds my family so easily!

italian-chicken-and-green-beans

Here’s what was going down in my house: Matt was working across town. Justus had just left for his college class. Elias was upstairs reading his English assignment. Malachi was practicing his piano. I was finally sitting down at my computer to write posts, answer emails, and edit pictures.

This is when my stomach growled. You’d think lunch wouldn’t have slipped my mind, seeing as I’ve been eating this meal every day for the past 43 years. But there it was, 11:30. There was no lunch and there were no leftovers to fall back on.

I got up and put chicken and green beans in a dish, doused it with Italian dressing, and put it in the oven. Five minutes later, I was back at my computer writing. While our meal baked, we all got work done (work that did not involve being in the kitchen). An hour later, we were eating lunch. If this meal doesn’t define “simple” I don’t know what does.

Simple 5-Minute Italian Chicken BakeYum

Simple 5-Minute Italian Chicken Bake
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1-2 pounds boneless chicken thighs or breasts
  • 2-3 cups frozen green beans
  • 1 cup Italian dressing*
Instructions
  1. Lay chicken in a 9x13 baking dish.
  2. Pour green beans over the chicken.
  3. Pour Italian dressing over the beans and chicken.
  4. Cover and bake in a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until chicken is no longer pink.

*Here’s my Italian Dressing recipe. I try to always have some on hand for quick meals and salads.

The baking time on this recipe varies depending on your oven and the thickness of your chicken pieces. If you want this meal to be ready to serve in a shorter amount of time, cut your chicken into small, thin pieces.

You will love how easy and flavorful this meal is!

simple-italian-chicken-and-green-bean-bake

Other Simple Recipes I’ve Shared Recently:

It’s recipes like this that makes Simple Meals such a life saver for families. We’ll provide the plans. We’ll provide the recipes. We’ll provide the grocery list. All you have to do is take a deep breath and enjoy how simple your life in the kitchen has become! Join Simple Meals!

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Simple Pizza Chicken Bake

Once again, a Simple Recipe saves the day. Three cheers for Simple Pizza Chicken Bake! (Hip, hip…okay, let’s just get to the recipe.)

pizza-chicken-bake

Truth: I have been too busy to cook lately. Why? Well, for one thing, I’ve been quite occupied by writing about how to put simple meals on the table.

Do not miss the irony of this.

Oh my dears. We hosted people for Thanksgiving, then turned right around and traveled to Kansas. We arrived home a few days later happy and tired, and very behind on all of our work. We began to play catch up while getting ready for Christmas and finishing up our kids’ semester of school work. Our youngest has been in our big downtown Christmas play, so we’ve been running to practices and performances and hosting family who came into town to watch. We hosted Christmas parties for two groups of college students, and enjoyed a big basketball triangular in town with the team our two middle boys are involved with.

Did I mention we’re getting ready to drive to California to see family at Christmastime?

All this fun in the midst of trying to keep up with everyday life has threatened to push me into the next level of crazy-head. (No one wants to see what that looks like.) So when Matt got home from his current job site one day last week and asked how he could help with dinner, I looked up from my computer (where I was editing a post about keeping dinner simple) and said, “I’ve been too busy writing about how to put food on the table easily to actually get food on the table. I love you. I’m hungry. Malachi needs to leave for practice in 15 minutes.”

Fun times. I have no recollection of what we actually ate that night. But no one starved, and I think I’m back on track this week to at least have the brain power to throw something in the crock pot or oven at a reasonable time.

Keep this new Simple Recipe in your back pocket. It truly is a no-brainer, and maybe it’s just me, but I think we can all use no-brainer recipes this time of year and always.

Simple Pizza Chicken BakeYum

5.0 from 1 reviews
Simple Pizza Chicken Bake
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 3 pounds boneless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 14 ounces pizza sauce
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 6 ounces sliced pepperoni
Instructions
  1. Cut chicken into thin strips and spread them into the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  2. Spread pizza sauce over the chicken.
  3. Sprinkle with cheese.
  4. Top with pepperoni.
  5. Bake, uncovered in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink.

simple-pizza-chicken-bake

I’m happy to report that the work I was behind on is almost caught up, and the work I’m trying to get ahead on is coming along at a nice pace. I got to a good enough point a few days ago that I told Matt, “Hey, I think I’ll be able to go to California with you for Christmas after all.” Now here’s hoping he gets all his work done so he can go too.

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